Posts Tagged ‘French Riviera’

Amid a veritable building site down in the docks, with cranes and construction workers and car-ferries coming and going, the new Musée Regards de Provence has opened and it is wonderful.

It’s housed in the old Station Sanitaire and signage indicates what awaited the immigrants – rooms for déshabillage, desinfection and service DDT. But today the building is full of big open spaces, flooded with light and filled with wonderful local paintings.

The first floor concentrates on paintings of Marseille.  So if you have just walked to the museum along the Vieux Port, you will have walked right through the subject of many of the pictures!  VP

This is how Louis Nattero saw the Quai du Port in the early years of the 19th century.  Not only is it a lovely painting in its own right, but it gives us a view of the old buildings that were detonated in WW2. 

Another painter I’d never heard of, Joseph Marius Hurard, worked from the opposite side. He was in the narrow streets of the Panier, looking across to the church up on the hill.

view from panier What a wonderful composition this is. 

‘Notre Dame de la Garde et Les Escaliers de la Rue Bompard’ focuses on the church in the centre of the painting, but it is framed by the real subject of the work – the busy street life of the Panier.  The windows are adorned with washing and the women in the street chat as they come back from the market or the fish-quay.

The second floor of the gallery widens its focus to include paintings from all over Provence, and there are so many treats in store.  There are works by Marchand, Chabaud, Seyssaud and Ambrogiani who is represented by a long and colourful painting which illustrates Provence from the Camargue to the Cote d’Azur.  One of my favourites.

Modern paintings are grouped in the Salle d’Estaque and, as with most contemporary art, it’s a mixed bag.  But this work ‘Plan d’Eau’ 2004 from Patrick Moquet, another artist new to me, was outstanding.modernart

Right at the top of the building is a very elegant restaurant with fabulous views across the docks and out to sea.

I went up for a coffee (11:30) but the whole place was set out for lunch.  They were OK about it and moved place settings etc so I could just have a coffee.  They have a good lunch menu with plats du jour but also light options.  If you opt for the beef, there are signs to reassure you that the animal was ‘né en France et abbattu en France’.


It’s a fabulous spot to sit and eat – especially if you like watching cranes and boats!

The whole museum has been finished to the highest standard and is a pleasure to visit.

It costs 6€ (5€ for seniors) and is open daily. :http://www.museeregardsdeprovence.com/




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